Thomas Wins IMPAC Dublin Literary Award With Debut Novel

American writer, Michael Thomas, has won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his debut novel, Man Gone Down, published by Grove / Atlantic. Speaking this morning about his win and prize money, he quipped, “I’m still overwhelmed, I haven’t got round to the financial scheming!”

The IMPAC Dublin Literary Award is billed as the richest literary prize in the world for single works of fiction which shows literary excellence. The winner was selected from 146 novels nominated by 157 public libraries in 117 cities around the world. Thomas will receive the winner’s prize of €100,000.

This book is an extraordinary debut that tackles race, wealth and family head on as a young black man finds the American Dream dissolving around him. On the eve of this thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of “Man Gone Down” finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep his kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them to live in. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we discover a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.

Leave a Reply